April 12, 2019 11:59 am

City of Toronto braces for return of European gypsy moths this spring

The City of Toronto will spray at-risk trees to help address the city's European gypsy moth infestation this spring.

Global News

Toronto is bracing for this year’s European gypsy moth infestation by starting an aerial spray program to protect the city’s trees.

The City of Toronto said vulnerable trees and canopies will be sprayed to block the invasive insect, whose caterpillars feed on leaves and cause severe leaf loss on deciduous trees.

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Oak, maple and birch trees are all at risk of an infestation, which would weaken the trees, making them susceptible to disease and weather changes.

The city has attempted to contain the moth population in prior years by using techniques like tree banding, injections and moth-egg scraping.

Toronto has decided to amp up efforts this year as older methods were found to be ineffective in controlling the moth population in high-risk areas.

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Two twin-engine helicopters with ultra-low-volume spray will cover areas with large numbers of oak trees as well as those exhibiting significant gypsy moth egg masses.

Information sessions will be held from April 16 to May 14 for residents in wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12 and 15.

Spraying will take place between May 15 and June 16 from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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The exact dates depend on leaf size, caterpillar size and weather conditions.

The city will post the spray dates and other information 48 hours in advance at www.toronto.ca/gypsymoth.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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